There have been a few reviews online for the G72GX I am just adding my two cents from my recent purchase at Best Buy.
The G72 is the next model up from the G71 series Asus gaming notebook. Their specs are nearly identical with just a few differences. Note: This is a review of the Best Buy retail version of the G72 and compared to the same Best Buy G71 model. There are G71's you can order through other chains that have completely differenct specs as they are the full package, whereas Best Buy's are for the general market for budget buyers so they do not include things like the Mouse, Backpack and unfortunately and most importantly the 2 years warranty and 1 year accidental dmg warranty, and some of the higher end companents (CPU, WUXGA screen, Blue Ray etc.). Just so we are on the same page. The official specs for the G72 are below.
Package includes, Laptop, Battery, restore software, AC adapter, and a cloth to wipe the LCD screen. Since this is considered a Barebones laptop by Asus for Best Buy it does not come with the 360 warranty, Backpack or mouse.
◦Intel® Core™2 Duo mobile processor P8700
Features 2 processing cores, 1066MHz system bus, 3MB L2 cache and 2.53GHz processor speed per core.
◦6GB DDR2 memory
◦Multiformat DVD±RW/CD-RW drive with double-layer support
◦17.3" LED-backlit LCD high-definition plus widescreen display
With 1600 x 900 resolution.
◦500GB Serial ATA hard drive (5400 rpm)
◦Built-in facial recognition.
◦NVIDIA GeForce GTX 260M graphics Features 1GB GDDR3.
*HDMI output for connecting to an HDTV. 2 built-in speakers with DSP and Dolby Home Theater support.
◦Built-in 1.3MP webcam
◦8-in-1 media reader
Supports MultiMediaCard, Secure Digital, xD-Picture Card, Smart Media, Memory Stick, Memory Stick PRO and Memory Stick Duo formats.
◦IEEE 1394 (FireWire) interface and 4 high-speed USB 2.0 ports
◦Built-in wireless LAN (802.11b/g/n)
◦Built-in 10/100/1000 Mbps fast Ethernet LAN
◦Weighs 8.8 lbs. and measures 2" thin
◦Fair battery life
Of up to 1 hour and 23 minutes (most accurate statement on battery life yet)
◦Microsoft Windows 7 Home Premium Edition 64-bit operating system preinstalled
The Specs even for a budget machine are very nice, and more than enough for almost any task, gaming, publishing, video editing etc.
The differences between the BB G72 and the older G71 are the following:
*G72GX has native 1600X900 Res 17.3" LCD whereas the G71 has native 1440X900 Res 17" LCD stock.
*The G72GX has touch Buttons for the media controls, touchpad on/off, and power etc, the G71 has touch sensitive buttons like what HP, and Gateway often uses on thier FX series laptops.
*The G72GX Does NOT have any active LEDs similar to the XPS series Dells or the G71 which does have active LEDs in the front, and on the sides and middle of the front of the LCD cover, and around the touchpad, the only LEDs the G72GX has are the ROG logo and small blue line below it as seen below.
Other than the above the general look of the two machines is similar in size and general shape but thats pretty much where the two machines end.
As seen in the above photo the LCD cover looks essentially the same as the G71 without the side lights. (sorry no g71 pics but you can google it =) )
The G72 is a fingerprint magnet, they removed the Crysis looking rubberized palmrest for an all glossy matching one, and they no longer use a standard touchpad they are using a similar flush touchpad that has a raised dimple finish for the texture and a single brushed aluminum left/right click bar. It works well but one major flaw is its size. It is just as wide as the Space bar and for gamers may be too far to the left for big hands to hit it. Although I personally use a seperate mouse during other tasks may be annoying.
One shining difference in my book is the illuminated keyboard, if you are anything like me you may play in less than favorable light sometimes, due to my girl being in bed =) and not wanting all the lights on this helps while gaming. Key are chicklet like, very soft, very quiet to type and appear rugged enough for heavy gaming, I personally love this keyboard so easy to type.
Most of the ports and the DVD drive are placed in logical locations as well as the Video out being the in the back instead of the sides which is my preference. The ports on the sides however are annoying to get at, if you have small fingernails as they are behind two access doors one on each side with a small slit to open them. The good thing is they are held close by magnets and are not hard to pop open with a pen, small flathead screwdriver etc.
The right side ports have your pair of USB2.0 ports, Headphone/SPDIF out, Headphone, and Mic port. Also present is the PCIExpress card slot, and wifi switch.
The left side: Has two USB 2.0, and Firewire, (^ My Cat Marshmellow not included.^)memory card reader, and the DVD drive.
The rear as stated before has the video out, 10/100/1000 Rj45, and eSATA port, as well as the cooling vent, security lock, and power jack.
Across the top of the keyboard is a black mesh grill that runs all the way across behind it are speakers, status LEDs and the media buttons. An issue I had with the status LEDs was the legends printed below them are almost unreadable. They are printed in a very dim color instead of bright white so you have to look closely at them. There are also 3 indicators on the front next to the latch (Wifi, batt, and what I suspect is just power, hard to tell as its just a lightbulb icon and the manual doesnt say.) The media buttons include a control for the Splendid application which adjusts the screen color schemes, Turbo Gear eXtreme key which controls power saving and overclocking of the cpu (from 5% to 15% increase on clock speed), the Express Gate key which is a stand alone media player similar to Dells media Direct, or Media Play buttons from HP. Also the touchpad on off, and power button.
The LCD panel is LED Backlit which explains the sharpness and contrast of the panel, the 1600X900 resolution is far better than the 1440X900, but still not quite as nice as a full 1600X1050 or higher panel, but its acceptable. The colors are amazing, the panel on my unit turned out to be an LGPhilips panel which I am happy for as the Samsung panels and some of the other manufacturers tend to have over saturated colors. Colors on this panel are spot on, contrast again very sharp, and like it or not the brightness is overbright due to the LED backlights but you can turn it down enough.
The problem the panel has though which is prevalent to panels that are below WUXGA resolutions is poor viewing angles. You have to sit spot on center on this screen or else it gets washed out. This is my biggest gripe. When you are in the right position its awesome, but at about 119 degrees and it washes out. (I am not going to do the webcam as they are what they are, 1.3mp is suitable to what you would use it for, no more no less).
But if you can live with that which I can, its a minor annoyance.
Fit and finish is very good, the laptop is not as heavy as it looks at all, the all black is very sleek, professional looking, you do get a dust cloth for the LCD which I use for fingerprints instead =).
Speakers however are puzzling. There looks to be two round ports above the keyboard, and I can hear audio, the manual states nothing about speakers there but shows them being in the front facing the user. So I am still out on if this has two or four speakers in it, the sound quality is ok, but not stellar, needs a 1" or higher 3way bass reflex subwoofer like other similar gaming laptops on the market, even the HP DV6 has one. It makes a world of difference in sound. Again its acceptable but a weak spot on this. However again most gamers output their sound to a sound system, or use headphones anyway.
This is the most important part for anyone. How does this unit compare to the G71 or other laptops out there for performance. Really similar machines will be in the same ballpark as far as performance is concerned with little variations. The G71 being nearly identical with the exception of the stock 1440x900 LCD will run just a slight hair faster in games only due to the fact the graphics card does not have to render the same amount of pixels, BUT it's so small it's not even worth noting.
The Intel P8700 2.53Ghz has more than enough power with both cores to play most current games without issues, using the Turbo Gear eXtreme OC on the fly helps a bit but even at 2.88Ghz the fps increase was too small to notice. 6GB DDR2 Ram is more than enough to run on, you can max it out to 12GB if you are inclined too.
The 5400RPM HDD is the only weak point in the end as seen in the WE score below. However you can always swap out a 7200RPM drive. You can also add another drive via the second bay underneath (need to purchase the bracket assy.)
Stock CPU Speeds and over clocked speeds did not net an increase in the Windows Experience score and only netted 7FPS better in WOW high settings and Aion only gained 5FPS.
I still get over 160FPS in WOW and in the crowded cities 35-55FPS which is quite good, and in Aion I get 90-120 FPS overall and in cities I am getting 40-66FPS again quite nice.
3Dmark 06 scores very well with the Geforce GTX 260m although it reports it incorrectly online as a GTX 170m. The GTX 260m Comes down clocked from Asus, I assume they were worried about overheat issues since they share the same cooling mechanism the CPU and other chips are using via heat pipes.
I just used Nvidia's system tools which you can download from their site to create a new stock profile and have it load the standard timings that the card is normally set to.
Stock settings are 500/800/1250, I set them to 550/950/1375. I have not noticed any drastic increase in heat, the fans do run full blast but they do anyway while gaming.
Temps after full run of 3Dmark06 (note your mileage may vary depending on ambient room temps etc, currently room temp during this test was 68 degrees F.)
Overall I am very pleased with the performance. I happened to replace my previous HP HDX Dragon 20.1" which had a X9000, 8GB Ram and an 8800GTS with this unit due to recent surgery I had so I had to drop the weight of my baby HDX20 (15.5lbs Plus accessories) and shed 7lbs going to this unit. The overall performance with Windows7, and the newer GPU and with a similar CPU minus 3MB cache is better than I was expecting including an increase in
3DMark06 performance my nearly 3.6k in the score which is very nice.
*Overall performance is very decent in real world apps and games and daily use.
*It's lighter than it looks
*Room to add a second hard drive
*CPU performance is good and 6GB DDR2 RAM
*Backlit soft touch keyboard
*GTX 260m with 1GB DDR3 is very speedy and nice to see in a budget machine
*Port placement and DVD on left side away from mouse
*Higher res screen stock than previous G71
*Nice overall appearance and feel, it does not feel cheap, and its professional looking
*On the fly over clocking of CPU
*Not a lot of bloatware as I was expecting
*lack of active LEDs as from the previous model (G71) although even on that model they could not be totally turned off, it does scream gamers. (I personally can do with or without em)
*5400RPM HDD is weak link in performance
*Viewing angles on this panel were only around 119degrees, although I know panels smaller than 1680x1050 tend to get this
*Ports are hidden behind drop down hinged doors, people with small fingernails will not have an easy time opening them
*No second HDD bracket assembly included
*Lack of Bluetooth
*No Blue Ray DVD Combo drive stock (which you can find on the Gateway FX series for the same money)
*Manual is weak sauce, and puzzling speakers, manual states two speakers in front, but there clearly are two up top above keyboard, also I read other site descriptions stating 4 speakers so.??
I am not going to officially list the one year warranty as being a weak spot or a con as this is a budget gaming machine sold at Best Buy hence why it does not have the 360 warranty (2year including cross shipping, 1 year accidental dmg.) Also not listing the lack of mouse, and backpack. That's where the extra $300-$400 in the retail price ends up coming from.
I would give this unit an 8 out of 10.
It's worth every penny of the $1199 cost.
Update regarding speakers: After going through the system, audio properties and doing a bunch of sound tests, it appears the G72GX has 4 speakers, but they are only stereo left/right all four of them. There are no surround or other feature similar that I can tell, the Creative EAXHD 4.0 is just sound environments and not related. But the audio is a little easier (or louder rather) than just a stock pair which is a plus, but still makes me want a sub =)
Udate regarding MB chipset and memory support: I noticed while running CPUID, and Sisoft Sandra that the mainboard chipset is being reported as an Intel P45/44 chipset, and NOT the PM45/44 which is the mobile counterpart. I would really need to pop open this unit to confirm visually if this is the case, as the PM45 does not support DDR3, but the P45 chipset does, as well as 1333 FSB. Anyone else out there confirm this? SEE RELATED SCREENSHOT BELOW ESPECIALLY MEMORY SUPPORT AT THE BOTTOM.
now mind you, the memory support only means what the chipset supports, but thats where this ends, cause if its using DD2 200 pin memory now, DDR3 is 204 pins so it would not fit anyway =) but its interesting if this is indeed a P45 chipset =)